Joseph Kony – Uganda’s Rebel Leader


Joseph Kony is the leader of a Ugandan rebel group called the Lord’s Resistance Army. The LRA began fighting against the government of Uganda in the late 1980s. According to western leaders Kony has committed many crimes against the Ugandan people. For years he has kidnapped thousands of children, made soldiers out of the boys and had the girls raped or killed. The group has spread violence and terror throughout Uganda, killing thousands of people, in many cases the families of the children he had abducted. Over two million people have been driven away from their homes.


Kony was born in a small villagein northern Uganda. He never completed school and when he was 25 he founded a rebel group to overthrow Uganda’s government. Kony is a very religious man who claims to be guided by spirits who show him the way.

Joseph Kony - Uganda's rebel leader

Joseph Kony - Uganda's rebel leader - Source (WP:NFCC#4)


In 2006 Kony was charged with 33 war crimes by the International Criminal Court. These included murder, rape and forced fighting. After these allegations Kony left Uganda. Today his LRA rebel group operates from neighbouring countries, mainly South Sudan and the Central African Republic.

Captured youngsters who have escaped from Kony’s rebels tell horror stories of how they had been treated. They describe Kony as a fearless man who shoots those who do not obey his orders.

For the last few years many countries, including the United States, have tried to capture Kony. After the 9/11 attacks on the United States, Kony’s rebels were declared a terrorist movement. African states have also promised to help stop Kony. Up to now all attempts at capturing the rebel leader have failed.

In 2012, an organization called Invisible Children uploaded a 30 minute film called Kony 2012 to YouTube. Its aim is to make Kony popular and to have him arrested by the end of the year. The film was a great success. By March 2012 over 90 million viewers had seen the film on YouTube, making it one of the most downloaded videos of all times.


Related Topics


  • abduct = kidnap; here: to take children away from their parents
  • according to = as said by …
  • aim = plan
  • allegation = charge
  • arrest = to catch a person because they have done something against the law
  • attempt = try
  • capture =to catch a person and keep them as prisoner
  • charge = to say officially that someone has committed a crime
  • claim = to say that something is true
  • commit = do, carry out
  • complete = finish
  • declare = to say officially
  • drive away = to be forced to leave
  • escape = to get away from
  • fail = not succeed; if something you have planned does not work
  • fearless = if you are not afraid of anything
  • forced fighting = to make someone fight against their will
  • found-founded = start
  • government = the people who rule a country
  • guide = lead
  • included = part of a larger group
  • mainly = mostly
  • movement = organisation
  • obey = to do what someone tells you to
  • operate = attack from
  • overthrow = to remove a leader of the government by force
  • popular = famous; well-known
  • rape = to force someone to have sex, mostly by using violence
  • resistance = to be or fight against something
  • spirit = a creature that has no body, but has some power
  • spread = extend, increase
  • success = victory, win
  • throughout = in all of
  • violence = aggression, fighting